The author is an experienced teacher who has taught for over ten years. He is a renowned writer of short captivating stories.
Nzambani Rock, locally known as Ivia ya Nzambani, is a stone outcrop standing about six hundred feet (183 meters above the ground. The rock is located about 8 kilometers from Kitui town along the Kitui- Zombe road at Nzambani village, Kenya.
Beside it are St. Nzambani Boys' Secondary School and Nzambani Primary School. The top of the rock offers a cool breeze and views of Kitui County and beyond.
It takes you a fifteen-minute drive from kitui town to reach the rock. From Kitui town, drive along Mutito road. In split seconds, you will reach Wìkilîlye Market. Proceed with your drive until you cross a bridge at Nzeeu River.
As soon as you cross it, you drive for about three minutes to arrive at Chuluni Market. Go on with your journey until you get to a road junction. Turn left and drive for about two minutes. You will come across a small seasonal river known as Mwiiwe. Cross it and continue with your journey. On the spur of the moment, you will arrive at St Peter's Nzambani Secondary school. Just a few metres before you reach the school gate, turn left and drive for about three minutes.
Alight from your car and turn your head to the right. You will see this fascinating tall old rock. That is Nzambani Rock!
Something interesting about Nzambani Rock is that it is said if you go round it seven times, you change your gender. If you are a man you turn into a woman and vice - versa.
How Nzambani Rock Came into Existence
Tales about how Nzambani came into existence are very fascinating. Some have been forgotten but the few that are still in people's minds are very captivating, therefore, attracting many tourists who come to see the rock and to hear the story.
The rock is certainly one of the country's largest outcrops.
From time immemorial, the place where the rock is situated used to be a thick forest. Folks feared walking through the forest as there were dangerous animals that roamed the forest even during the day.
One day, three daring girls went to the forest to collect firewood. As soon as they reached a clearing in the middle of the forest, they saw a lot of firewood and embarked on a serious mission of doing what had taken them there.
One girl found a peculiar round stone. She picked it up and hid it in her chest so she could take it to her folks to use for pounding tobacco. The kind of dressing that time was clothes made of skin since there were no modern clothes.
Sooner rather than later, the girl realized that the stone was growing bigger and bigger. Immediately, she stopped collecting firewood and started yelling. She tried to remove it but her efforts proved futile.
Other girls found that their friend(Nzamba) had turned into a rock apart from heads. They also tried to get rid of it from her body but it was like flogging a dead horse. They all stood there dazed. Their minds were in turmoil.
The other two girls ran to the village and informed them what had happened. The night was creeping in so they had to quicken their steps.
No sooner had they reached than they saw ahead on a rock crying. Sacrifice was made to appease the ancestors but in vain. Nothing could change the situation. They all went home devastated.
The next day, she had completely turned into a rock. When her parents saw the rock, they wept bitterly. But what could they do?
That's how Nzambani Rock was formed! ( It was named after Nzamba, a lass who transformed into a rock. Nzambani shows possession, a place belonging to Nzamba, hence the name Nzambani)
Going Around Nzambani Rock
It is said that when you go around Nzambani rock seven times, you change your gender.
A story is told of a man who had a constant disagreement with his wife. His wife kept on bragging about how women were more important than men in society. She would embarrass him even when visitors were around.
One day, the man made up his mind to punish her wife. And the best punishment was to turn into a woman. He had heard those old stories about going around Nzambani Rock seven times.
So, one night, when everyone was fast asleep, he decided to execute the plan. He tiptoed to the door and opened it carefully not to make any noise.
Outside, it was chilly. Silence rent the village except for a few barking of the distant dogs. Since time and tide waits for no man, he followed a narrow path that led him to the famous Nzambani Rock.
He ran around it nine times and he was flabbergasted to see himself transform into a woman.
That morning, when his wife woke up, she found a woman seated on a three-legged stool. "Good morning Mwende," the woman greeted, "I am your former husband, but now I'm your fellow woman," He concluded.
It is said that his wife passed out and never came to. Since he had permanently turned into a woman, he decided to lead a life of women.
© 2021 JEREMIAH MWANIKI KILUNDA